Tools & Resources

High Level Political Forum

Civil Society Shadow Reports for the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on SDGs Implementation

The shadow reports aim to identify which mechanisms are in place for government engagement with civil society, local governments, and other stakeholders in realising the Sustainable Development Goals at a national and international level. We are collecting submissions on the 22 countries that were under review for the 2016 HLPF using this template and the 44 countries currently under review for the 2017 HLPF using this template (see all countries under review).

If you would like to complete a civil society shadow report, please fill-in one of the afforementioned templates and upload it to the relevant regional folder available below:

Synthesis of Voluntary National Reviews for the High-Level Political Forum

Countries reported on the achievement of the SDGs from their national perspectives, including a consideration of their national priorities and approaches, and outlined how they have included the SDGs into national development plans and strategies. They provided information on the context in which they are implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and particularly the overarching challenges they face. These included high levels of poverty and inequality; fragile economies; dependence on natural resources and agriculture and facing the effects of a prolonged fall in commodity prices; epidemics and their aftermath; high unemployment, and in particular youth unemployment; conflict and post-conflict situations vulnerability to disasters and the consequences of recent disasters; vulnerability to climate change; and financial and institutional shortcomings.

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High-Level Political Forum Report: Civil Society Engagement in Monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals
HLPF.V22CountriesThe High Level Political Forum (HLPF) provides the pre-eminent space for dialogue with the UN system on sustainable development. 2016 is the first year of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and in this context 22 countries have volunteered to undertake national reviews to be presented at the HLPF. As this is the first review of its kind, it is to be hoped that this process can set a benchmark for future reviews, so that the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda are delivered in a truly just and sustainable way. There are major questions remaining on implementation, monitoring and accountability of this agenda; this paper aims to provide some initial reflections on the engagement with civil society in the countries under review and to set out some recommendations on how this engagement can be further strengthened.

Over March-June 2016, the Action for Sustainable Development platform collected summaries from national civil society organizations (CSOs) within the 22 countries that have volunteered to be reviewed by the High Level Political Forum. Through the comparison of these summaries, general observations can be made to link the inclusion of civil society in the SDG process, and provide an analysis of the degree of depth and breadth found in national SDG proposals.

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Individual Civil Society Country Reports and Reflections

Brazil |ColombiaEgypt | France + More info | Finland | Germany More info | LiberiaMorocco | NorwayPhilippinesSamoa | South Korea | South Africa | SwedenSwitzerland*| Tanzania | Timor-LesteTogo | TunisiaUganda | Venezuela More info |

*Originally published on Social Watch

User Guide for the High Level Political Forum

HLPF User Guide cover3Ahead of the meeting for the High-Level Political Forum (11-20 July 2016), the Action for Sustainable Development partners have prepared a user guide to engage in the process both in person and remotely.

The HLPF has been called the preeminent forum within the United Nations to work on sustainable development issues for the next fifteen years or so. It is also referred to as the home of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030Agenda. This Forum is the ‘apex body’ at the UN to ensure monitoring, follow-up and review of the SDG commitments. It provides a forum to review progress across nation states and to connect policies within the UN system.

The HLPF accords NGOs the most far reaching participatory privileges and rights in the history of the UN.
But how can civil society most effectively engage with this process? How does the UN enable voices to be
heard from the people who are most directly affected by these policies?

This user guide will answer these and other questions about the engagement in this critical institution and its governance of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Leave No One Behind

At the heart of the goals is a commitment to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ and that no goal is considered met unless met for all. That’s because, although we have witnessed huge progress in the fight against poverty and injustice, too many people – the most impoverished, those that are excluded, disadvantaged and at risk of violence and discrimination – still face terrible inequalities when it comes to accessing resources and rights. The world must focus on reaching these groups and ensuring they can make their voices heard if we are to achieve a better world for all. In an effort to identify which groups of people and communities require priority access to the resources and programs being mobilised by the Sustainable Development Goals, the Leave No One Behind Partnership conducted national dialogues in 30 countries. You can access the results via the map below or read the global synthesis report here. Lear more at


If you would like more information about Action for Sustainable Development, please contact